Sunday, January 08, 2006.

11:50 PM.

Mood: Tranquil.

In but five hours and ten minutes I shall be forced to shower, collect my scattered homework, and take the bus to school after two long weeks of winter vacation. And so, at the very end of this relaxing period, I write out the first entry of this collection of thoughts and experiences.

The first thing that I realized about tonight is that, out of 340 contacts, I only have ten people online, 4 of which are on mobile, two of which are away sleeping, one of which is four years older than myself, two of which live in different countries and one of which is a computerized software of sorts. Meaning that nobody of my age group, who has school tomorrow and who I know, is online. They have all been forced to sleep. I feel a sort of smug satisfaction at that. I feel to be separate from them. I know that things have changed. School is no longer my primary concern. I used to live, breathe school. I now know that there are other more important ways of learning. I need more time to write my book. Just yesterday I got another publishing offer, meaning that I have now received more phone calls from publishing agencies than I can count on my fingers and toes combined. My mother told me that we will get into it seriously once I finish my book, Death of Seasons. Which is ridiculous, in a sense, because all of these editors are not going to wait around forever. I am lucky enough as it is, being thirteen and something of an amateur, to my mind. I do have a book ready to be published, but that one isn't special enough. I want Death of Seasons to be the first on the shelf.

I can't believe how unexcited I am about getting back to school. I feel as though something big is going to happen tomorrow. Seeing as it's only midnight at the moment, I'm not exactly tired. Problem is, by the time I start feeling sleepy, it's the time to get up and greet the day. What is there to do? Nothing much. The way I see things, I'll finish this up, maybe write a poem about Chris, and then finish reading The Last of the Sin Eaters (beautiful book). This will bring me to about 3 am, and then I can finish the English homework I have due for later this month. By then it should be 5 am, at which time I can get ready for school. School should probably tire me out (to give an added challenge, I write my notes and pay attention all while writing my book at the same time) and I'll stay inside during recess to write. Upon returning home, I'll do my homework, eat dinner, call Kyle, write, talk with some friends or go visit Vimmy, write some more, and I should be ready for sleep around midnight. This is my typical schedule, and it works very well. My parents don't really care what I do anymore. I asked if Kyle could come over and they were all, "yeah, whatever." I didn't even ask if I could go to Vimmy's at 6 am this morning. When I got back at around 11 am, I found breakfast waiting for me on the table. Cold, just how I like it. Except the eggs. I had to microwave those. I topped the whole thing off with a fair mound of ketchup, and then my dad came into the kitchen and told me John had called at about 9.

See what I mean? They don't care what I do. I think it was last night… no, wait, the night before last night, I was talking to Kyle on the phone. He called at around 1 am. I don't know what was wrong with me, but I just knew I wanted out. I needed help. I was in ruins over Pat, Clea, everything. So he called me, and we talked until he got off at about 3-ish. Halfway through the conversation, at around 2 am, my mom came into my room and asked me really quietly if I was talking to Mary. I shook my head no, and answered my boyfriend by saying, "Aw, Kyle!" to give her the hint. She just smiled and left, shutting my door behind her.

That's the thing. They figure as long as I do things that don't involve Mary, it's all okay. Mary, for those who don't know, is what I call my muse. You see, when I'm writing, I don't think of ideas. I shut my eyes, and go silent. Every idea is locked up in my head. Inspiration and my muse feeds me these bits of inspiration if they see fit to do so, or if I threaten them with the Q-tips. During this time of pondering I will usually speak aloud, causing many people to be frightened by the fact that I'm talking to myself. At one point, when my friend said tentatively, "Leigha, are you talking to yourself?" I replied sarcastically, "No, I'm talkin' to Mary." And so my muse and inspiration-giver was named Mary. I don't even really understand it, myself. I don't know what gives me the ideas, it has no name. So I called it Mary. And it helps to talk to 'Mary' when I write.

Some people see this as a mental issue. Like my parents, for example. I know that seeing people and hearing voices is not a good sign, but you see, I don't hear Mary speak. I don't see Mary. It's all me talking. I just find comfort in giving my source of inspiration a name. My mother doesn't really care, she just rolls her eyes and says that as long as I don't see Mary, it's all good. My dad, however, is a different story. It creeps him out. For example, I was talking on the phone and arguing with Kyle (teasingly, of course) so my mom comes in and goes, "Are you fighting with Mary? What's all the yelling about??" When I tell her the situation, she seems relieved. After ending the conversation, I go downstairs, and bring up the event to my mother. My father gets up abruptly and goes, "I don't want to hear any more about this Mary." And leaves. I got my chocolate milk and got out of there, feeling really weird. I've decided not to talk about or to Mary for a really long time, because I don't like having my parents like this: as though they're afraid of me. It's too weird. If only my brother would stop mentioning her.

I saw a ghost a few days ago. Not just any ghost: Clea's ghost. I was posting some poetry at about 1 am, when I decided to go downstairs and get a cup of chocolate milk to keep me awake. So I got out of my room, across the balcony, down the stairs. I paused at the stairwell, looking out the window at the fresh blanket of snow, and I just sort of stood there, thinking. It was really calm, except for the fact that my ruddy hamster The Hatta (who peed on Kyle) kept running in his wheel. He piles all of his food and nesting in the elevated wheel, and then when he runs the seeds and whatever else he stores goes everywhere and makes the most annoying noise imaginable. Luckily our house is extraordinarily insulated, to the point where I have my speakers on full blast right now, but if I were to go onto the balcony and shut the door, I wouldn't hear a sound. Everyone's rooms were closed, but the study door was open, and that's where the hamsters were kept. And so standing there, hearing the bloody hamster, a felt a prickle on my neck. I touched the plant beside the stairwell window, and all I thought was, "Oh, no." So I go down the last flight of stairs, passed the study and the master bedroom, turned left passed the fireplace and into the kitchen. The tiles were cold against my feet. I opened the refrigerator and grabbed the chocolate milk instantly. I knew exactly where it is, because I'm orderly and it's a general rule in our household that the chocolate milk always goes in the same spot.

So I grabbed a cup, poured the chocolate milk, set down the carton, and paused. I could hear raspy breathing. I thought to myself, 'Dad, mom, Ian, myself, and grandma. Those are the only people in this house.' But I knew it was a lie. I can sense people when they're there. I ever so slowly looked my right, and there she was, staring at me behind the island in the kitchen.

I said simply. Not as a question, nor as a call, nor as a threat. Just Clea. A statement. As though I was honestly answering a question such as, "Who is your best friend? Who do you miss the most right now?" I said her name, but I was afraid of her. I don't know if she would have harmed me, or if this was even real. Odder hallucinations had occurred before with lack of sleep. Which is why I forced myself to rest at least six hours. Forced rest was better than seeing Elvis in the refrigerator.

I didn't even see all of Clea. That's what I think of the most. I just saw her eyes: black sockets. I saw her basic frame: tall, graceful, firm. I gripped my glass tightly, and I whispered in a small voice.

"What do you want, now?"

Tears clouded up my vision and so I viciously grabbed the empty carton and swung it at her. It went straight through her and she drifted away like a cloud of evaporating mist. All gone. The carton fell with a thud on the hardwood floor of the living room. I downed my drink and grabbed the carton. Not being fully aware of what I was doing, I clambered up the stairs two-by-two, shut off the computer monitor, curled into bed and sobbed. I held the carton tightly, shivering into the black sheets, and I fell into a dream haunted by the demons who know that there are so many things worst than death.

I have horrible night terrors. A night terror is basically like a nightmare, except when you try to wake yourself up like you can in a regular dream, you can't. So then you say to yourself, "Oh my, if this isn't a dream, it must be real!" And then when you do wake up, you're sweaty and bewildered for a long time afterwards. Lately the night terrors I've been having are similar, but still devastating. The ghost of Clea was real. I can tell the difference between a dream and reality. The ghost might have been an illusion, a hallucination, but I did live the experience. My father, mother, best friend and godmother crashing on the highway and dying, is purely a night terror. Both have me up all night, wondering.

It is now 12:42 am. I would have finished quicker, if not for the break I took in-between to fetch a new triple A battery for my mp3 player. Pity, none of them work. I'll have to leave a note for my dad to get a new pack. I can trust my dad with stuff like that. I'll leave a note, and come home at 3:15 pm after school to find a fresh pack of batteries. No note. No father. Just the batteries. It's our silent means of communication, in a world where I'm extremely optimistic, and everything is going off course. Our world, in which I see and speak to things that aren't there, and my father ignores the things that do exist. This world I can call my own.

Take care, everyone.